A new partnership will boost investment and ownership in infrastructure and communications projects for northern Indigenous communities.

Sixty North Unity, a group of Indigenous communities from Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, plans to buy Northwestel from Bell Canada for CAD 1 billion. After this deal, Northwestel will be the largest telecommunications company in the world to be entirely Indigenous-owned.

“The Northwestel team is filled with honor and gratitude to serve the North in this more profound way. This monumental step towards economic reconciliation will see direct benefits in northern Indigenous communities. I can’t wait to see what advancements this new partnership will bring to northern Canadians,” said Curtis Shaw, President, Northwestel.

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Key Connectivity Benefits

Building on Bell’s past investments in the North, this partnership allows Sixty North Unity to continue improving internet access and addressing regional differences in telecommunications services.

The acquisition will help Indigenous communities invest in local infrastructure, housing, social services, health, and education.

With this in mind, Sixty North Unity plans to invest heavily to boost digital growth and connectivity, aiming to double fiber internet speeds to 1 Gbps and extend high-speed internet to over 97% of homes in Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

Additionally, Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites will provide 50/10 Mbps speeds to eight communities in the Northwest Territories and 25 in Nunavut.

Bell’s Commitment to the North

This deal shows Bell's ongoing support for the North by giving local communities control over their investments while still leading in wireless services in the region.

“This historic transaction embodies Bell’s ongoing commitment to walking the path of reconciliation to build a more inclusive and connected Canada. I congratulate Sixty North Unity and Northwestel on this visionary partnership to advance economic reconciliation through Indigenous ownership of critical telecommunications infrastructure in their communities,” noted Mirko Bibic, President and CEO, BCE Inc. and Bell Canada.

Bell will continue a strong, strategic partnership with Northwestel after the sale, providing ongoing operational support and remaining Northwestel's largest customer.

“We’re grateful for the leadership and support we’ve received from Bell Canada over the past 36 years and are excited to embark on this new chapter with Sixty North Unity,” concluded Shaw.

Also Read: Bell Deploys 3800 MHz Spectrum for Next-Gen 5G Experience